No, I am not talking about pre-summer street construction in my town, though the joke is so true- "we have only two seasons: winter and construction!"
Mid February, we are traveling south to Georgia and Florida on deputation. Please don't pity us too badly!! We have had mid-teen temperatures here, and this comes at a very nice time! This is definitely on the "joys" list of deputation!
However, this will be a very different experience than our previous trip to Mississippi. While in MS, we were able to stay at BEAMS the whole time and make trips to different churches. This meant one "home base" and daily/weekly travel that took from only minutes to a couple hours away for a meeting. This was a wonderful scenario, as it meant NO " *-packing-unpacking-repacking, repeat from * ". With a family of six, you can imagine the benefit of this!
This journey will be a much more "traditional" trip. We have meetings in a couple of states, with a few days in between each. We will start near Atlanta, then go to Savannah, and then head to Tavares, FL. Lord willing, we will then have a meeting on the way home.
It makes for packing challenges (light clothing, easily ironed for being presentable, school...) but also makes for packing benefits (wear the Same Thing at each different church).
Another challenge we have for this particular trip- two of our children will have birthdays.
As a large family, we have made some decisions about how often the children can have a "friend party". Every birthday is a family celebration with cake of the child's choice, and small gifts from M&D and Gram and Gramp. But some years we allow a friend birthday. They are as follows: every one "they want" up until 7. Then a big party only when they turn 10, 13, 16, and a graduation OR birthday party at 18.
After that, they're on their own! :) Not really. Though, Olivia will be 19 this year and wont even be home. (That will be terrible!) As a side note, one of our children never wanted a friend party. We forced one on him at 10! I know, weird, but he thoroughly loved it, and had one at 13 by choice.
Anyhow, Micah will be celebrating his 12 birthday in Savannah, GA, and Savannah will be in Florida for her 7th. (We really should have switched that around! Savannah in Savannah would be more fun! We will have to see what we can do!) We will definitely have to think of something creative!
At times, some of our Winter children have saved their parties until Summer. A favorite Big Party is "night rider" passes at SeaBreeze. It is a great time for every age. They have free parking, and allow guests to bring in outside food. That is HUGE when feeding up to 10 children!
Now that I have rambled... you have a peek into our next few weeks. Please pray for us as we prepare and depart. Exciting times to be sure!